Pound Sign

New York City, pop culture, art and nightlife. Because nobody else is blogging about those things.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I love this town.

Thanks to an inpromptu invite for grillin' and drinkin' on his mother's terrace high atop a converted warehouse condo in DUMBO, we not only spent a fabulous Memorial Day in the beautiful weather with friends, we also had a front-row seat for the Brooklyn Bridge turning into a giant disco light display as the sun went down, in celebration of its 125th Anniversary. Check out my photos here, slightly blurry but worth it if you missed the real thing this past weekend.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Busts covered to make busts covered in Bust!

So, Jo Weldon makes an amusing and valid point in her blog this week about the Sunday Times article, comparing it to an article from the Times magazine in 2003 (that I totally remember) about the emerging burlesque scene; I was reminded of something I've written here too along the same lines but regardless, it's a big, colorful full page and a half article in the Times! And a high tide raises all boats.

Anyway, in other fun press news, one miss Clams Casino is also featured in an article in this month's Bust Magazine, about the collaboration between the Burlesque Hall of Fame and Keep A Breast, a breast cancer awareness organization. At last year's Exotic World Weekend, Keep A Breast was making casts, non-stop all weekend, of the busts of the performers, both new and legendary. The casts were painted by top international artists, to be exhibited as part of this year's Exotic World Weekend and then auctioned off! Clams is one of the participants and it was an amazing, emotional and powerful part of last year's event. Definitely check out the Myspace page for Breast Defense: Glamour Girls For Early Detection for more info-and a sneak peak at some of those amazing busts.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Married to a New York Times designated "Burlesque Queen"

I highly recommend checking out the City section of today's Sunday New York Times; a big, photo-filled article about New York burlesque. One Miss Clams Casino is showcased in the second paragraph on the front page! Very exciting!

She actually received a message last night from her friend Garth while we were all hanging out at the Pinchbottom after party, which led to my hunting expedition in the rainy night for copies of the Sunday Times, in Tribeca, at 12:30 on Saturday night. For the record, that is possible, but it is not easy.

So, to those who are involved in the scene, there are some things to quibble with in the article's articulation of burlesque in New York, but needless to say, those are outweighed by the positive impact, for everybody.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Perhaps my finest contestant-booking moment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bringin' it, New York style

This is the new poster for this year's Exotic World Weekend, produced by the Burlesque Hall of Fame, rapidly approaching in June. This is our third year as deeply entrenched volunteers with this organization and this event; just in those three years it has grown in mind-boggling ways; 2006 was just the event's first year in Vegas after its beginnings literally in the desert, at the original Exotic World Museum, a converted goat farm off a dusty strip of old Route 66 in Helendale, California. In Vegas, every year the venues have gotten bigger, the crowds bigger, the performers more international...and now we're at the Palms. They're building a stage for us over the pool. Afterparty is at the Playboy Club. It's crazy.

Anyway, I'm very proud to report that this year, Clams Casino has been selected by the judges to perform in the 2008 Miss Exotic World Pageant, as one of just 12 contestants in the Best Debut category! While both of us believe that the competition is far from the most important thing about the weekend experience, it's an honor, she was picked out of a huge international field of contestants and I couldn't be more excited for her to hit that big stage for a crowd in the thousands.

Poster art is by Mitch O'Connell; pictured left to right are the past six winners of Miss Exotic World: Japan's Erochica Bamboo, LA's Kitten DeVille, NYC's Julie Atlas Muz, Chicago's Michelle L'Amour, London's Immodesty Blaize and NYC's Dirty Martini. (click for a larger view)


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Captured before the best show we've ever put on.

A brief quiet moment backstage before the Killer Queen Burlesque show, courtesy of the surreptitious Nasty Canasta.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

We Are the Champions

Last night's show was an absolute triumph; amazing crowd, amazing cast, amazing performances, amazing theater. Completely exhausted. Taking our bows on the stage of an Off-Broadway theater to rousing applause, surrounded by my genius friends and loved ones, most of them not wearing any clothes, was a dizzying, surreal moment that I can't stop thinking about today, the sheer joy of that moment that makes the tremendous work of being an independent producer so, so worth whatever it takes to make that moment happen.

I recently looked back at some of the early posts on Pound Sign, from around this time two years ago, and I had a very different trajectory in mind for my creative life here in New York City. I've been thinking about the things that I would have written about then that now I simply haven't had the time or, frankly, the strong inclination to; this year's Whitney Biennial, the opening of the New Museum. Experiences like those, make no mistake, remain a vital part of my cultural life, and that kind of contemporary art still informs how I think and what I do. But I'm not sure if my focus will ever be there again...

Wow, that got serious for a moment. Any reader who doesn't know me personally certainly stopped reading around the part about nudity. So, onward! This summer the adventure continues: in July for the first time Clams and I are co-producing a show with Jonny Porkpie and Nasty Canasta, also known as Pinchbottom Burlesque! And we're bringin' it to the fabulous Asbury Lanes! Stay tuned for The Shore Thing: A Burlesque Road Trip! And then in August, the two of us return to Coney Island's Burlesque at the Beach series for: Clams Casino and Neil O'Fortune present: AM Gold!

Ya Mo Be There!

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